British Journal of Nutrition

Papers of direct relevance to Clinical and Human Nutrition

A preliminary simulated iron fortification trial in South Indian preschool children

Sheila M. Pereiraa1, Almas Beguma1, V. I. Mathana1 and S. J. Bakera1

a1 Nutrition Research Unit and Wellcome Research Unit, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India


1. The effect of fortification of food with iron to provide 10 mg elemental Fe/child per d was studied in preschool children maintained on a cereal diet, over a 5-month period.

2. The absorption of 5 mg Fe as ferrous sulphate mixed in one meal was 3.3% of the test dose and when 3.3 mg was given with each of three meals over a 2 d period the corresponding value was 4.8%.

3. The mean absorption of a test dose of ferrous ascorbate studied in twenty-four children midway through the trial was 42%.

4. The only beneficial effect of Fe fortification in this time-period in the experimental group was the prevention of the decrease in packed cell volume which occurred in the control group.

(Received August 01 1978)

(Accepted September 21 1978)